More reports on: Agriculture

Likely good monsoon will spur faster growth: Jaitley

14 April 2016

India may grow at a faster pace in 2016 if the latest predictions of above-average monsoon rains in the country hold up, finance minister Arun Jaitley said on Wednesday.

"I have seen in the last two or three days the predictions seem to be much kinder to us this year, and if that were to happen, we are capable of improving upon our growth rate,'' Jaitley said in a speech on the nation's growth prospects at a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace event in Washington.

Jaitley said India's growth parameters were on track and assured the audience that government is moving ahead on its reform agenda.

India is currently expected to grow at 7.5 per cent in 2016, according to the International Monetary Fund.

However, he also said that 7.5 per cent growth is not enough as per its own requirement standard. He added that the country has the "potential" to do "better".

Expressing concern over the decline in India's exports, Jaitley said the country's growth parameters were on track and the government is moving ahead on its reform agenda with inclusiveness and successfully meeting all its fiscal parameters.

Latest forecasts predict above-average rainfall in India in 2016. A good monsoon season is important to agricultural output in India, the world's second-biggest producer of rice, wheat, sugar and cotton.

Shares rose nearly 2 per cent on Wednesday to their highest level in more than three months as easing inflation and the rainfall forecast bolstered expectations of higher economic growth and more rate cuts by the nation's central bank.

Jaitley is in Washington this week for the IMF and World Bank's semi-annual meetings. A meeting of the G20 major economies is also due to take place.

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